Elements of Maternal Identity as Predictors of Maternal Gatekeeping Behaviors

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2016

Faculty Sponsor

Cynthia Campbell


While maternal identity has been associated with maternal gatekeeping behaviors, the mechanisms of motivation remain unclear. This study investigates individual elements of maternal identity including centrality, role gratification, personal sacrifice, and contingent self-esteem as facets of maternal identity that may motivate gatekeeping behavior. While we found no connection between any element of maternal gatekeeping behavior and personal sacrifice or contingent self esteem, we found a positive correlation between maternal gatekeeping discouraging behaviors and identity centrality. We also found a connection between role gratification and maternal gatekeeping encouraging behaviors. These findings may provide evidence to the argument that that mothers who do not consider “mother” to be their primary identity tend to discourage fathers less and those same mothers who encourage father participation may find more gratification in their role.

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